Indian Council of Agricultural Research
  • Protozoan parasite Perkinsus olseni in oyster tissue
  • Thorny-headed worm Tenuiprobosis sp. in the intestine of cultured marine fish
  • Acanthocephalan infection in red snapper
  • Genomics Laboratory
  • Biotechnological products: Varna Fish Feed and Nutraceuticals

Home Marine-Biotechnology Division

Thrust Areas of Research:

Fish Genetics, Genomics, Molecular Biology, & Fish Physiology
Fish Nutrition
Fish Health (Pathology, Microbiology, Immunology, Cell Culture & Molecular Diagnostics)
Biochemistry and Bioprospecting


Ongoing Research Projects:

a. In-house projects :

Genetics, genomics and biotechnological applications in mariculture and fishery resources management
Development of tissue culture technology for in-vitro production of pearls from the black lip pearl oyster Pinctada margaritifera and refinement of in-vitro pearl formation in Pinctada fucata.
Health management in selected finfish and shellfish for mariculture and aquariculture and bioprospecting from marine resources. 

b. Sponsored Projects :

Bioprospecting of genes and allele mining for abiotic stress tolerance. NAIP Funded

Genetic study on breeding stock of the Indian mackerel along the Indian coast. Funded by FAO-BOBLME
Development of a library putative probionts from Marine environment belonging to the genus Pseudomonas, Bacillus and Micrococcus for application in mariculture systems. Application of Microorganisms in Agriculture and Allied Sectors (AMAAS) Project No.2020600004
Drugs from the sea: Development of antimicrobial, antiinflammatory and anticancer agents from the marine-organisms and micro-organisms MoES
Characterization of bioactive compounds from marine macroalgae as defense metabolites against oxidative stress and inflammation. DST-SERB
Polyunsaturated fatty acid enriched formulations from locally available low-value fish and fishery by-catch for use as nutraceuticals and aquafeed supplements. DST-SERB
Molecular Approach to diet analysis in selected commercially important tunas. DST

c. ICAR Outreach/Network Projects:

Fish Feeds
Nutrient profiling and evaluation of fish as a dietary component
Fish genetic stocks
National surveillance programme for aquatic animal diseases’ (NSPAAD) National surveillance programme for aquatic animal diseases’ (NSPAAD)
National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA)

Completed Research Projects:

a. In-house projects :

Formulation and evaluation of larval and growout feed for marine crabs, lobsters, ornamentals and cage farmed finfish MBTD/NUT/01
Pathogen profiling, diagnostics and health management in maricultured finfish and shellfish
Biotechnological applications in mariculture and conservation

b. Sponsored Projects

Development of species specific DNA markers in economically important shellfish species green mussel (Perna viridis) and edible oyster (Crassostrea madrasensis) for their application in farming and resource management
Development and application of CMG family Recombinant hormones, their antagonists and RNAi technique for induced maturation and spawning of Penaeus monodon.
Development of genetically improved strains of Brine shrimp Artemia using qualitative and molecular genetic tools.
Characterization of novel antioxidants from red and brown seaweeds from Gulf of Mannar
Establishment and characterization of cell lines from the rabbit fish Siganus canaliculatus and the marine ornamental fish, Dascyllus trrimaculatus
Fish Feeds
Nutrient profiling and evaluation of fish as a dietary component
Fish genetic stocks

c. Consultancy Projects :

Consultancy in Shrimp Nutrition for Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) Domestication of Tiger Shrimp Project (DTSP), Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture (RGCA) in the year 2010
Advisory on screening OIE listed pathogens relevant to Kerala, India – Consultancy provided to Kerala Aqua Ventures International limited (KAVIL), Fisheries Complex Building, Salim Ali Road, Ernakulam, Kerala, 682018 in the year 2012.

Significant Achievements in the last 5 years


  • Microalgae and abiotic stress: Collected, isolated and maintaining 144 pure isolates of marine microalgae representing different habitats of Indian Coast, with Phenotypic and Genotypic details of about 80 isolates. An abiotic stress gene for salinity tolerance from microalgae Teraselmis indica (hyperhaline microalgae isolated from the Pulicat Lake) has been identified using subtractive suppression hybridization (SSH) method and characterized using RACE-PCR method. This ‘mined gene for salinity tolerance’ could be useful in the transgenic studies.
  • The ‘ CadalminTM, Varna series’ of marine ornamental formulated fish feed developed has been field tested and routinely used at CMFRI Centers for aquarium rearing facilities and has received wide acceptance from aquariculturists, which is sold through ATIC counter at CMFRI, HQ, Cochin. A Patent application entitled ‘Formulated feed for marine ornamental fishes and a product therefore’ has been filed. Efforts are underway for commercialization of the feed.
  • Reverse transcriptase- Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), for the detection of beta noda virus (VNN), a sensitive and specific DNA based diagnostic method, which can also be used in the field for the screening the candidate finfish broodstocks, larvae and farmed has been developed, and is under validation.
  • First report of Perkinsus beihaiensis in Crassostrea madrasensis from the Indian subcontinent. Profiling study on the Indian edible oyster Crassostrea madrasensis, , for the presence of Perkinsus spp revealed the presence of P. beihaiensis for the first time in C. madrasensis populations from the Indian subcontinent and south Asia.
  • Novel nutraceuticals from green mussel (Perna virdis), the CadalminTM GMe, and the nutraceutical CadalminTM GAe from marine macroalage has been developed through unique biochemical engineering. This nutraceuticals effective for the treatment of joint pain is a green alternative to synthetic NSAIDs (viz., aspirin containing drugs having undesirable side effects). After filing process patents, the products have been commercialized through Amalgam group of companies, at Kochi and Celestial Biolab at Hyderabad.
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